Wichita (1955)

Passed   |    |  Romance, Western


Wichita (1955) Poster

In 1874, after noticing the total lawlessness in Wichita, Wyatt Earp reluctantly accepts the Marshal's job and runs into the worst local troublemakers.


6.9/10
1,633

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12 December 2012 | dougdoepke
Superior McCrea Western
Superior McCrea western thanks to an intelligent script that also plays up the actor's penchant for steely resolve. How much law and order is too much. That's the question the town council of Wichita must decide. Too much will drive away the fun-starved cowboys coming to town after a long trail drive. Too little and the town gets shot up. Newly installed Sheriff Earp (McCrea) is on the side of strict law and order, forbidding the cowboys from bringing their guns to town. This upsets powerful businessmen and saloon owners. So Earp must contend not only with rowdy cowboys but with town politics as well.

McCrea is perfect for the quietly resolute sheriff. As expected there's no swagger or bravado in his grim determination to keep other townspeople from being accidentally killed by busting-loose cowhands. When he stands alone, you believe it. It's also a well-stocked production from lowly Allied Artists, with enough extras to make the crowded town scenes credible. Of course, there's a romantic angle with a lovely but heavily made-up Vera Miles (soon to come under the wing of Hitchcock in such thrillers as The Wrong Man {1956} and Psycho {1960}). But the romance is pretty well integrated into the plot, without dangling like a distractive add-on.

All in all, it's a good western drama woven around the quietly powerful Joel McCrea.

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